Picnic season might look a bit different this year! As the weather warms up, the urge for al fresco dining rises. We compiled some tips on how to have a fabulous backyard blanket brunch—even if you’re the only one there (hashtag treat yourself).
1. Prepare in advance.
Pay attention to the weather leading up to your picnic day. Rain is to be avoided at all costs! Try to mow your lawn a few days ahead of time so the clippings have time to fade away and you don’t have to worry about ticks. Plan to hydrate in style by starting some fruit infused water (lime + cucumber? watermelon + mint + basil? pineapple + sage? The possibilities are endless…). Last but not least, clear your afternoon schedule if possible (an outdoor nap may be in order!).
2. Plan & paint your menu.
There is no shortage of brunch recipes online. Try something new (and pre-shop for all of the ingredients at your weekly visit to the Co-op or curbside pickup order) or stick with some old favorites. Since your picnic is likely to be in the backyard or somewhere close by your home (we encourage following all appropriate social distancing recommendations), you don’t have to worry too much about something being packed to travel. These Eggs Baked in Avocado with Bacon come in their own neat little cups (one less dish for later). Once you decide on your menu, and shop for ingredients, why not put those rusty design skills to use? Create your own menu and decorate it with a painting, fancy lettering, or your name and the date. Little touches like this can make your picnic feel even more special.
3. Pick your coziest blanket.
It doesn’t have to be your most “durable” one! You can always put down a sheet to protect your favorite blanket from the elements. Now is the perfect time to bring that faux fur throw out to the lawn for a little bit of outdoor luxury. Don’t forget a small pillow and extra top blanket in case you want to sneak in a little post-brunch nap. Another tip: Wait until the sun dries the dew off the grass before you set up. No one likes a soggy blanket beneath them!
4. Dress for the occasion.
If you wanna dress up, dress up. If you wanna stay in sweats, stay in sweats. This is your solo picnic, so you make all the rules! Bring some layers in case the sun goes behind a cloud and don’t forget sunscreen and bug spray. We recommend a big hat to shade your face from those rays—and big sunglasses if you want to look more mysterious to that neighbor peeping over the fence (they’re just jealous of your spread).
5. Create a “tabletop” surface.
This is important for our next tip. Particularly if you have a more “lumpy” yard, you’re going to want a steady, flat surface to place things on. You can use a serving tray if you have one (even the kind you might have in your foyer—bring it outside for a little field trip!) or a cookie sheet works in a pinch. You could also use an extra flat piece of wood laying around from that house project you’re going to get to next week. Spruce up your table with a flower (even a dandelion from the edge of the lawn) in a small jar of water.
6. Use real plates, glasses, and silverware.
Leave those paper plates and napkins behind! Break out the fancy plates you’ve been saving for a special occasion. You are the special occasion. Have a tiny spoon? Bring it out to place tiny scoops of hummus on your fanciest crackers. Unearth the cloth napkins that have been hiding in the back of your drawer near the stove. Drink copious amounts of coffee from a jewel-encrusted goblet. Let’s do this picnic right.
7. Leave your phone and laptop inside.
Okay, maybe after taking a photo of your spread for the ‘gram. But once that’s done, leave your devices inside if possible so that you can enjoy your solo picnic without distraction. Take some time to appreciate the work you’ve put into building this experience for yourself. Think about where your food came from, listen to the birds chirping on the telephone lines. Your backyard noises might have changed since this time last year! Don’t forget to bring a good book or a magazine to dive into once you’ve had your fill, and then slip slowly into that sweet, sweet nap we mentioned earlier… you earned it!